Seeking support for their growing nonprofit, PFLAG leadership reached out to Apparo for help to make the right technology decisions.
We checked in recently with Karen Graci, Executive Director of PFLAG Charlotte to learn about the impact of their organization’s work with Apparo over the past year. Karen reached out to Stephanie McKee via Apparo’s Tech Therapy program for advice when Google Workspace did not feel like the perfect match for their growing organization. Stephanie assessed PFLAG’s needs and helped then determine that Microsoft 365 would be a better fit. She helped with the setup, finding the right Managed Service Provider and also with sourcing new laptops for staff. “Stephanie was a huge help in an area where I do not have expertise. It was also a significant savings to purchase hardware through Apparo,” shares Karen.
Once setup in Microsoft 365, Karen knew the staff needed training and turned to Apparo’s Education program and Yenting Lu for support. Yenting matched PFLAG to volunteer Alicia Cyrus of Slalom Build who led three Microsoft 365 training sessions for the staff, including an overview and deep dives into Teams, SharePoint and calendaring. Karen explains, “We were all at different levels and you met us right where we were. We could ask any questions and get the help we needed. We’ve come so far. We use Teams to communicate and our file structure now makes sense. We are confident in our security, we work more efficiently and are set up to support our growth and long term sustainability.”
“This support is so important as we continue to grow strategically to serve our community’s needs. Because we are working so much more efficiently now, we’ve been able to triple the number of corporate education programs we offered in June of this year, compared to last year. PFLAG Charlotte strengthens families, empowers LGBTQ+ allies, and elevates LGBTQ+ voices through peer support, education, and advocacy. Being more confident and comfortable with our technology platform has been integral to enabling us to meet the significant increase in demand for peer support services and LGBTQ+ allyship educational programming in the workplace, schools, healthcare spaces, and faith communities.”
Alicia truly enjoyed her volunteer experience, sharing “It was my pleasure to serve & learn more about PFLAG and their impact in the community. They have an amazing team and I’m so happy the training helped to strengthen their communication and growth.”
In closing, Karen shared her appreciation for Apparo’s ongoing support, “We don’t have a technology director. I don’t know where we would be without Apparo. It’s incredible what you do. You are our CIO that we couldn’t afford. It was quite a gift.”